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Light Bulb Teapot (Variation #6) Yixing Series

1984 Richard T. Notkin Born: Chicago, Illinois 1948 stoneware overall: 4 7/8 x 6 3/8 x 3 5/8 in. (12.3 x 16.1 x 9.2 cm) Smithsonian American Art Museum Gift of Margot R. Heckman in memory of Mary Sherman Resh 2000.89A-B Smithsonian American Art Museum
Luce Foundation Center, 4th Floor, 53B

Luce Center Label

Richard Notkin made twelve unique teapots in the Light Bulb Teapot series between 1983 and 1992. Each of the elements on the teapot has a specific meaning that contributes to a story. Here, the dice on the handle symbolize risk, while the lightning-rod spout and inverted bulb shape of the pot refer to captured energy. These ideas, together with the overall skull-like image, express Notkin's anxieties about the danger that nuclear energy poses to the environment.


Allegory - arts and sciences - science

Object - other - light bulb

Recreation - sport and play - dice

decorative arts - ceramic

Crafts - Clay


About Richard T. Notkin

Born: Chicago, Illinois 1948

More works in the collection by
Richard T. Notkin